Creating Long-Term Demand for Pork in a Surprising Way

Market Demand Efforts at National Pork Board

Surprises can be good or bad. The current economic situation of the U.S. pork industry is certainly in the latter category. At the National Pork Board, we recently reallocated funds to support market growth initiatives and further sharpen our focus on market growth – particularly enhancing long-term demand.

Today’s pork is nutritious, versatile, accessible and… unexpected. The often-overlooked value pork brings to the grocery store and dinner plate gives the pork industry significant – and perhaps surprising – opportunities to meet the needs of consumers and retailers.

A Benefit for Retailers and Consumers

Pork is a beneficial product for retailers as it connects to consumers’ top purchase drivers such as value, taste and nutrition.

First, pork is a nutritional powerhouse. Many consumers don’t recognize that pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast or that pork has mainly unsaturated fat.

The convenience and versatility of pork make it a whole and healthful protein staple option for many dietary patterns. It brings variety to consumers’ diets through a diverse array of cuts while still respecting personal taste and health goals.

And pork’s versatility goes even beyond nutrition. For instance, ground pork has a place as an everyday item that can be used in different recipes while adding flavor. You may be surprised to learn pork can have just as many taste nuances as wine.

Pork is a protein that makes you think differently.

Get Ready to Be Surprised by Pork

That’s why this October, during National Pork Month, we are announcing our Surprisingly Pork campaign.

Led by a producer-led working group, Surprisingly Pork is the industry’s unique and authentic health and wellness-focused consumer story created to translate relevant research into compelling and emotive language subverting people’s ingrained beliefs about pork.

Surprisingly Pork will show up in multiple places: social media content, targeted ads on social media channels, recipes, and even Instacart branded ads.

We will target retailers with promotions, in-store signage and activations to stand out and surprise consumers to ensure consideration and purchase before, during, and after shopping.

Who is it targeting?

With millennials as the largest generational group, this campaign focuses on millennial moms for several reasons.

  • More than a million millennial women will become mothers each year over the next ten years.2
  • Women still do the vast majority of grocery shopping and cooking at home.3
  •  Total pork sales by millennial households with children is up 4%.4

What Does it Mean for Producers?

Surprisingly Pork will disrupt many consumers’ ingrained beliefs of pork and focus on demand creation for lean, fresh pork. By communicating health and wellness facts, we will educate and drive awareness to increase long-term market demand.

We will grow our consumer base and shift nutrition and health perceptions to change consumer sentiment. By dialing up health truths about pork in an empathetic, confident, and surprising way, we will engage and drive millennials to choose pork.

Let’s Dig In

When I think about today’s pig farmers, there are a few words that come to mind. Today’s pig farmers are dedicated, generational, innovative and resilient. Surprisingly Pork, and all our market demand efforts, work to bring this resilience to the market, building a perspective of pork that makes it a staple for families now and for years to come.


  1., Surprisingly Pork, Oct. 2023
  2., 22 Facts You Should Know About Millennial Moms, Sept. 2022
  3., Among U.S. couples, women do more cooking and grocery shopping than men, Sept. 2019
  4. Numerator Insights, People Scorecard, P12M E. 11/30/2022